July 4th Trail Mix Cookies

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As the Fourth of July was quickly approaching, my daughter and I were frantically trying to think of a creative, “red, white and blue” dessert to make for our family cook-out. We thought of many ideas, including ice creams, cupcakes, and even pies, but my daughter was determined to think of something tasty yet also on the healthier side. We came upon an old recipe for Trail Mix Cookies I had previously made in my last published cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowl Recipes, and suggests using dried blueberries and dried cranberries to make a festive red, white, and blue cookie! With a small drizzle of white chocolate, these cookies are the perfect dessert at any Fourth of July meal.

July 4th Trail Mix Cookies

Prep: 25 minutes

Cook: 8-9 minutes

Yield: about 30 cookies

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter softened

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup old fashioned oats

3/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup dried blueberries

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup mixed nuts chopped

1/4 cup white chocolate chips (optional)

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees fahrenheight.

Using a hand or stand mixer, beat butter, brown sugar and honey until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and beat until combined. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Stir in dried blueberries, dried cranberries and mixed nuts.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Scoop the dough into balls (about the size of two tablespoons) and place about two inches apart on the baking sheets. Using your thumb, lightly press into each of the cookies to give them a flatter shape. Place the baking sheets into the oven for about 8-9 minutes or until the bottoms have browned.

Optional white chocolate drizzle:

As the cookies cool on a wire rack, place the white chocolate chips in the microwave for about 1 minute, stirring periodically to prevent burning. Place the melted white chocolate in a plastic bag, and cut the tip to make a piping bag. Drizzle the white chocolate over the top of the cookies for an optional festive touch!

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Summer Love Wine Dinner at Fleming’s

Summer Love Filet Line Up with Wines

I know all of you are aware that I am a huge Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar fan in Birmingham. It’s one of my favorite date night restaurants in town with fabulous service, atmosphere and wine. I met the General Manager last time I dined there (a few weeks ago), and I was blown away at his attention to detail and kindness. This Sunday, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar is having a must event for an unforgettable Summer of Love. Celebrate the love affair between steak and wine during Fleming’s Summer Love Wine Dinner Event on Sunday, June 25th at 6:30PM. Who else wants to go? I do!

Summer Love Filet Line Up_No Wines

Guests will enjoy an unforgettable four-course menu, featuring exquisite pairings that combine Fleming’s hand-cut filet mignon with meticulously selected wines, starting at $99 per person. The menu includes:

  • First Course

o   Campari Tomato Bruschetta featuring house made burrata, blistered tomatoes, crostini, balsamic glaze

o   Mionetto, Extra Dry Prosecco di Valdobbiadene, Italy

  • Second Course

o   Filet Mignon with Colossal Crab and Shrimp featuring a hand cut filet mignon topped with colossal crab and shrimp and a chili butter

o   Sonoma-Cutrer Chardonnay, Napa Valley

  • Third Course

o   Filet Mignon with Balsamic Glaze featuring a hand cut filet mignon topped with crispy leeks, atop a house made blackberry pepper glaze

o   Duckhorn Merlot, Napa Valley

  • Fourth Course

o   Summer Berry Cheesecake

Summer Love Filet with Sauteed Mushrooms

Frosé A Rosé Recipe

Frose 43

Last week was National Rosé Day and I tried out a new varietal by Josh CellarsIdeal for the warmer months, the Josh Cellars Rosé is a blend of Barbera, Moscato and Syrah with aromas of strawberries, white flowers and stone fruit. It’s perfect to serve for outdoor dining, parties on the beach, celebrations with family and friends.

This recipe Frosé 43 is a perfect summer treat for every adult. It’s also beautiful and simple to prepare. Try it this summer and let me know what you think!

Frosé 43 (serves 2 -3 people)

Ingredients:

1 Bottle Josh Cellars Rosé

4 oz Licor 43

2 oz Lemon Juice

½ cup Fresh Strawberries Hulled and Chopped

Directions:

  1. Pour Josh Cellars Rosé into an ice cube tray and freeze for at least 3-4 hours, overnight if possible.
  2. Place Josh Cellars Rosé Ice Cubes, Licor 43, Lemon Juice and Strawberries into a blender and blend on medium speed till smooth
  3. Pour into glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry.
  • Tip: If Rosé is not well frozen, add ice cubes as needed to blender to get desired consistency.

JCELL_BottleShots_Rose

 

Green Coconut Bowl Recipe

Green Coconut Smoothie Bowl_1

Smoothie bowls are the perfect way to add fresh fruits, superfoods and proteins to everyday fare. Adding a smoothie bowl to morning routines guarantees a great start to the day and for lunch too. Smoothie bowls are thicker than regular smoothies – thick enough to eat with a spoon. My cookbook 200 Best Smoothie Bowls has 200 recipes that can be enjoyed anytime for a refreshing, filling and healthy meal or even a delicious dessert. To order a copy, click here.

smoothie bowl cookbook alison lewis

Here’s just a small sampling of the sumptuous smoothie bowl recipes:

    Breakfast Smoothie Bowls

  • Breakfast Harvest Bowl, Frosty French Toast, Breakfast Starter, Pear Pleaser, Sunrise Smoothie Bowl, Energy Buster, Peanut Butter Oat Bowl
    Green Creations

  • Clean Green Bowl, Blueberry Flaxseed Bowl, Strawberry Avocado Bowl, Green Zinger, Citrus Kale Bowl, Parsley Pear Bowl, Spinach Almond Bowl
    Kid-Friendly Smoothie Bowls

  • Almond Butter and Jelly Bowl, Berry Crunch, Nutella Banana Bowl, Peach Paradise, Mocha Smoothie Bowl, Grape Ape, Peanut Butter Cup
    Anytime Smoothie Bowls

  • Pistachio Vanilla Bowl, Pick-Me-Up Bowl, Watermelon Strawberry Bowl, Dreamsicle, Chocolate Cherry Bowl, Pumpkin Pie Bowl, Afternoon Delight

These thick, creamy and delicious smoothie bowls will undoubtedly become a welcome addition for any family. See recipe below for my  Green Coconut Bowl recipe pictured above.

Green Coconut Bowl

Prep: 10 minutes

Yield: 1 serving

1⁄4 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or milk of your choice)

1⁄2  frozen banana, cut into pieces if necessary

1⁄3 cup frozen chopped mango

1 cup trimmed kale leaves

2 tbsp  unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Ice cubes (optional)

Suggested Toppings

Sliced banana

Blueberries

Raspberries

Unsweetened shredded or flaked coconut

Chia seeds

  1. In blender, combine coconut milk, banana, mango, kale and coconut. Secure lid and blend (from low to high if using a variable-speed blender) until smooth. If a thicker consistency is desired, add ice, one cube at a time, and blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with any of the suggested toppings, as desired.

Where to Book Now for Valentine’s Day

Maui

Want to start off the New Year with a Valentine’s weekend you’ll never forget? Here four of my top picks on where to go this Valentine’s Day:

  1.  Maui

Maui has been recognized as one of the most desirable romantic destinations in the world, and the island’s most coveted neighborhood has welcomed its newest resort – the reimagined Wailea Beach Resort – Marriott, Maui. Following the December 2016 debut of their $100 million transformation, the resort’s sprawling 22-acre contemporary retreat offers couples a picture perfect Valentine’s Day getaway.

Wailea Beach Resort Maui

Here is our guide to a magical retreat, Wailea Beach Resort style:

  • Calm down: Enjoy a couples treatment while overlooking the serene Hawaiian waters, Molokini crater and the island of Kaho’olawe at the newly renovated full-service Mandara Spa.
  • Get lost: Unplug with your loved one while soaking up the sun at the new adults only adults-only infinity edge serenity pool, participating in a couples scuba diving class at the resort’s new dive pool or snorkeling together with an underwater photographer.
  • Shake it up: Try something new! Embrace the Hawaiian culture at Te AU Moana, Maui’s highly anticipated vibrant luau exclusively curated for the resort, taking place at the property’s new Luau Gardens
  • Treat yourself: Perched at the highest point of the property, the resort’s new signature restaurant is serving loved ones the ultimate dinner with a view. Humble Market Kitchen by Roy Yamaguchi is the go-to date night locale to feast your eyes on a new menu influenced by Japanese, Filipino, Chinese and Hawaiian cultures and sweeping views of the Pacific.

The Resort at Paws Up

2. Montana

Head to The Resort at Paws Up, an ultimate romantic retreat on 37,000-acres of winter wonderland in western Montana. This rustic, chic setting is the ultimate destination for romance, zen and adventure.

The Resort at Paws Up

  • Calm down: Treat yourself to a spa day at the Morris Ranch House. Then head back to your cozy home to build a fire in your wood-buring fireplace or relax in your outdoor hot tub.
  • Get lostWith spectacular views of the legendary Blackfoot River and endless forests, Paws Up’s winter horseback adventures offer a wide-eyed gulp of the winter wonderland. Enjoy 60 minutes of beautiful winter vistas and the unforgettable Old West history.
  • Shake it up: In the mood for adventure? Book a private snowmobile tour, attempt skijoring (but this time behind a horse), enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, dogsledding or cross-county skiing.
  • Treat yourself: Relax with a cocktail in Tank with the best and friendliest mixologists. Savor every bite of Chef Ben Jones‘ Creations at Pomp. Be sure to ask for a table fireside and leave room for dessert.

shore lodge

3. Idaho

A majestic mountainscape, a crackling fire, snow falling softly on a frozen lake. This may sound like the setting of a romantic movie but, in fact, it is very much a reality. McCall, Idaho has everything lovebirds could want for a getaway: stunning scenery, exciting excursions, luxurious amenities and, perhaps most importantly, a feeling of complete escape. Nestled in the heart of the Salmon River Mountains, and on the shores of the stunning Payette Lake, Shore Lodge in McCall is an idyllic retreat that offers refuge from big city life amongst unparalleled natural beauty.

Here is our guide to a magical retreat, Shore Lodge style:

  • Calm down: Treat yourself to a spa day. The Cove offers side-by-side couples massages, calming body treatments and one of the most soothing experiences in town: soaking in the heated indoor/outdoor immersion pools. Enjoy a cool glass of champagne and a hot soak to get you loosened up for other activities.
  • Get lostSo often we get lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life and lose a little bit of touch with the one that matters most. Remedy the distance by getting lost together! Strap on some snowshoes or Nordic skis and spend some time reconnecting as your explore the beautiful snowy wilderness around you.
  • Shake it up: Lacking a little adventure in your life? Try something thrilling with your significant other to bring your closer together. Shore Lodge offers countless excursions for adventurous couples of all skill sets, from snowmobiling to heli-skiing.
  • Treat yourself: A little indulgence goes a long way. Dinner at The Narrows is a must for the ultimate fine-dining experience. Enjoy the artfully crafted menu of Pacific Northwest cuisine and an extensive, award-winning wine list alongside panoramic views of Payette Lake. End the evening with a nightcap martini in the Narrows Grill or enjoy the view on your private balcony of your Lake View Suite.

Monarch Beach Resort

4. California

It’s nothing but California Dreaming with this romantic beachside getaway, whether you are looking to surf, sunbathe or just take in the sunset.  From luxurious pampering and captivating views to unsurpassed dining options and with professional Resort Hosts and Experience planners ready to ensure your every need is met, couples can reconnect with a curated couple’s retreat at Monarch Beach Resort. 

monarch

Here is our guide to a magical retreat, Monarch Beach Resort style:

  • Calm down: Take relaxation to a higher level at Miraval Spa, where couples can participate in treatments and activities that will transform you from the inside out.  From private partner aerial yoga to couples relaxation spa treatments, loved ones will leave feel rejuvenated and reconnected.  For a more intimate experience, revel in the luxurious comfort of an elegant suite and enjoy a romantic evening in.
  • Get lost: Watch the glowing sun fall behind the horizon as we host the nightly Champagne Sabering, or share a bottle of bubbly from our wine cellar and warm up by the fire on a cool California evening.
  • Shake it up: For couples interested in active pursuits, the resort offers paddle boarding, tennis, yoga classes, championship golf, and so much more.
  • Treat yourself: Wine and dine your loved one at Michael Mina’s acclaimed restaurant concept Stonehill Tavern, offering tavern fare in an elegant and sophisticated setting.  Enjoy a one-of-a-kind dining experience, including modern American cuisine that features seasonal ingredients and contemporary twists on classic tavern dishes.

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar New Years Giveaway

new years eve menu

 

What better way to ring in the New Year than by spending it dining at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar? Fleming’s is hosting a spectacular New Year’s Eve celebration, pairing steak and seafood with Fleming’s three-course New Year’s prix fixe menu.

I am excited to give away on lucky winner a $100 Fleming’s dining card. For a chance to win leave a comment below telling me your favorite New Years Eve beverage. One winner will be chosen on December 31st! Good luck!

The meal includes Fleming’s favorites, including the Crab Louie Wedge Salad, lobster bisque, filet mignon paired with Australian lobster tail and Fleming’s signature potatoes. To top off the night, Guests can select one of the following indulgences: chocolate lava cake, New York cheesecake, crème brulee, carrot cake, walnut turtle pie, ice cream and sorbet or fresh berries served with Chantilly cream.

Fleming’s has also pre-selected the perfect drink pairings to complement this meal. Sip on a glass of French 75 Plymouth Gin Mas Fi cava, JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset Brut Burgundy No 21, or Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne Yellow Label.

Don’t forget to enter to win and happy holidays!

17 Luxury Travel Black Friday Specials Not to Miss

 The Resort at Paws Up

Luxury properties around the world are gearing up for the holidays with special offers anyone looking for an intimate getaway or family vacation. Here are my top picks:

The Resort at Paws Up

  1. The Resort at Paws Up, Greenough, Montana

A 35% Discount for Your Stay at Paws Up!

Enjoy a 35% discount for your next stay at The Resort at Paws Up. The discount will be applied to the lodging rates for the corresponding reservation time period. A $500 activity credit will also be included.

To take advantage of the Paws Up Black Friday Special, simply call our Reservations Department and reference the below promo code. This special is only applicable if you book your reservation from November 2530, 2016. This offer is not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

Based on availability. Some blackout dates apply. Travel is valid January 2–May 25, 2017.

round hill

2. Round Hill Hotel and Villas of Montego Bay, Jamaica

Switch up family vacation this year, and bring everyone down to the island that offers it all in the timeless, exotic location of Round Hill Hotel and Villas of Montego Bay, Jamaica. With Round Hill’s Cyber Monday Sale, guests receive one free night when booking 4-nights between the dates of January 3-31, 2017. Guests who purchase or gift this package will enjoy afternoon daily tea, the Pineapple Kids Club, and non-motorized water sports such as kayaking, snorkeling and paddle boats. The resort offers an award-winning spa, several options of Caribbean cuisine and exotic island adventures fitting for all ages.

Thompson Play del Carmen

3. Thompson Playa del Carmen Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Luxury has landed in Playa del Carmen. From November 25-28, Thompson Playa del Carmen will be offering guests 35 percent off its best available rate. Travel dates are valid through March 31, 2017. Terms and conditions may apply.

Jamaica Inn Spa

4. Jamaica Inn of Ocho Rios

Guests are welcome to gift themselves or others with an intimate luxury stay Jamaica Inn of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Holiday travelers prepare to be pampered on a relaxing lounge chair, enjoying the refreshing breeze, and swimming in the calm Caribbean Sea while sipping on a cool Planter’s Punch. Jamaica Inn’s Black Friday Sale asks guest to relax, unwind and embrace the simple joys of living with 30% off accommodations for a stay of 4-nights or more in one of the 48 suites or cottages, adorned in crisp white and Wedgewood blue, set against a backdrop of green grass, vibrant flowers and glistening blue seas. Through this Black-Friday deal, the available dates for travel include November 1-19, December 11-26, and January 2-31, 2017.

The Palms Turks and Caicos

5. The Palms Turks & Caicos Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
A 72 suite resort just steps away from the sparkling white sand and turquoise water of famed Grace Bay Beach, Regent Palms provides a refined and elegant Caribbean experience. 

The Deal:

  • 30% off all luxury room categories
  • $100 gift certificate for use at any of Regent Palms’ restaurants including fine dining at Parallel23
  • *Valid for travel from May 15-June 15, 2017.  Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers 

Rancho Bernardo Inn

6. Rancho Bernardo Inn  San Diego, California
A true year-round destination for the entire family, the 265-acre property features 287 luxury guestrooms, three swimming pools, lush gardens, a full-service spa and wellness center, two restaurants and in-room dining. With unpretentious style and genuine warmth unique among the world’s finest resorts, the property inspires conversation, reflection, and relaxation. 

The Deal:
  • 50% off the best available rates when booked Black Friday, Nov. 25 & Cyber Monday, Nov. 28, staying for as low as $89/night

Giving Tuesday: 

  • 20% of revenue from the Inn’s ‘All Play, No Pay’ packages sold will go to Becky’s House YWCA, a nonprofit organization offering domestic violence programs for women, men and children.
  • *Available for stays through January 5, 2017. Based on availability.  Some restrictions and blackout dates apply.

halcyon

7. HALCYON, a Hotel in Cherry Creek | Denver, Colorado 
A take on modern luxury with a twist of staying at your best friend’s welcoming home in Colorado. Amidst the splurge-worthy boutiques and low-key coffee bars, the bustle of business and the calm embrace of the mountains, you’ll find the 154-room hotel in set in the affluent neighborhood of Cherry Creek North.  

The Deal:
  • Purchase one night and receive the second for 50% off
  • Promo Code: WELCOME HOME using this Booking Link

*Sale begins Black Friday November 25 at 12:01 a.m. and ends Cyber Monday November 28 at 11:59 p.m. Valid for travel from Nov 25, 2016 – March 31, 2017.  Based on availability; blackout dates apply. Not compatible with other discounted offers

inn at keystone

8. The Inn at Keystone | Keystone, Colorado
Just a few minutes walk from the ski lifts; The Inn at Keystone offers picturesque views and rooftop hot tubs. Bonus? It’s the only dog-friendly hotel in Keystone so grab a leash and bring the pooch for a winter escape!

The Deal:

  • 50% off all bookings, rates start at $109/night
  • Complimentary hot breakfast buffet

*Travel valid through April 9, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

The pines

9. The Pines | Beaver Creek, Colorado
Located amidst the whispering aspen groves overlooking Beaver Creek Village, The Pines has come to define intimate, on-mountain lodging. Recently renovated, sixty cozy guest rooms feature rich pine touches, oversized beds and luxurious linens that set the bar for the ideal Rocky Mountain ski vacation.

The Deal:

  • 45% off all luxury room categories, starting at $199/night

*Travel valid through April 16, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

AustriaHausGuestroom

10. Austria Haus | Vail, Colorado
Since the mid 1960’s, Austria Haus Hotel has welcomed skiers from around the world to experience Western luxury and sophistication wrapped in European charm. Inspired by authentic, family run ski chalets of the Austrian Alps; this exquisite, 25-room boutique hotel emanates warmth and hospitality from the moment guests arrive.

The Deal:

  • 45% off all luxury room categories, starting at $195/night

*Travel valid through April 23, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

the village at breckenridge

11. The Village at Breckenridge | Breckenridge, Colorado
A favorite family resort with ski-in/ski-out access.  Located at the base of Peak 9, the resort is right in the heart of the action just a half block from Main Street Breckenridge with ski school right out the door.

The Deal:

  • 25% off all room nights, starting at $127/night (minimum of two nights)

*Travel valid through April 22, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply. Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

A Gondola car in the sunset at Keystone Mountain in the summer.

12. Keystone Lodge & Spa | Keystone, Colorado 
Surrounded by the majestic Rocky Mountains, Keystone Lodge & Spa is an ideal choice for winter sports enthusiasts. With an on-property state-of-the-art spa, kick back and relax after a day on the slopes before dining at the exceptional Bighorn restaurant or other local offerings.

The Deal:
  • 50% off all bookings, rates start at $129/night

*Travel valid through April 9, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

vail resorts

13. Vail, Colorado
Welcome to Vail, an iconic mountain resort where vibrant alpine villages are surrounded by the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. Combined with world-class terrain, award-winning dining, lodging options to suit every taste and budget, and a lively mix of locals and guests from around the world, Vail offers the quintessential mountain resort experience.

The Deal:

  • 45% off all luxury room categories at select hotels, including The Lodge at Vail and The Arrabelle

*Travel valid through April 23, 2017, taxes and other fees may be applicable. Based on availability; blackout dates apply.  Not compatible with other discounted offers or pre-existing reservations.

Waterfall Resort

14. Waterfall Resort is offering FREE FLIGHTS with their “Gift Wrap a Fishing Trip” deal (http://bit.ly/1lnDccx – link will be live on Black Friday) for a value up to $750 to guests who book starting Black Friday through December for travel during the 2016 summer season (June 11 – August 12). Complimentary airline tickets can be paired with any Land Package for two or more nights, with all-inclusive rates starting at $3,580 per person. 

Package includes:

  • Complimentary roundtrip airfare to Ketchikan, AK (limit up to $750)
  • Combine with Kids Rate for 15% Off AND free airfare!
  • Roundtrip sea plane between Ketchikan and Waterfall Resort
  • Oceanfront lodging in historic cabins or lodge rooms (double occupancy)
  • Hearty all-you-can-eat Alaskan fare
  • Full service guided sport fishing on 25’ heated cabin cruises (four guests per boat)
  • Use of high-end rods, reels, all-weather gear and all other fishing equipment
  • Professional fish cleaning, cutting, vacuum-packing and fishing to take your catch home
  • Onsite Alaskan Airlines agent to check-in bags and fish boxes
  • Ground crew in Ketchikan International Airport to assist with transfers
  • Daily housekeeping and resort services; Free Wi-Fi hot spots

The “Gift Wrap a Fishing Trip” promotion is subject to availability and may not be combined with other promotions. Airline baggage fees, Alaska State fishing license and gratuities not included. Bookable on www.WaterfallResort.com.

Salamander Resort and Spa

15. Salamander Resort & Spa  Middleburg, Virginia
From 6:00 a.m. on Monday, November 30 to 6:00 a.m. on Tuesday, December 1, Salamander Resort & Spa will be offering 50% savings on all hotel suites* as well as $199 room rates**.

Gurney's Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa

Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa  Hamptons, New York
Situated on Montauk’s most pristine stretch of oceanfront real estate, Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is a Hampton’s institution, providing guests with direct access to a 2,000 ft. private sand beach.

The Deal:

  • 30% off ALL room inventory for one or more nights

Happy Hour:

  • 50% off private oceanfront cottages from 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • *Valid for travel from December 2, 2016 – April 30, 2017.  Based on availability; blackout dates apply. 

US GRANT

16. THE US GRANT San Diego, California
A San Diego icon, THE US GRANT is situated in downtown’s lively Gaslamp Quarter where guests of all ages can enjoy the city’s shopping, dining and entertainment. In addition to the impeccable location, guests can delight in remarkable fine dining and an esteemed beverage program at signature restaurant and bar, Grant Grill.

The Deal:

  • 30% off stays through Sept. 4, 2017 when booked from Saturday, Nov. 19 through Sunday, Dec. 4.
  • Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) members can save an additional 5 percent.
  • *Available for stays from November 21, 2016 to September 4, 2017. Based upon availability; Blackout dates may apply. 

The Marker-2

17. The Marker San Francisco, California
Housed in a turn-of-the-century building in the heart of downtown San Francisco, The Marker, a Joie de Vivre Hotel, is located steps away from the historic beauty of Union Square. Distinct among San Francisco’s lifestyle hotels, the signature warmth permeates the property from the service to the design of the interiors. Surrounded by top theaters, restaurants, museums and shops, the urban boutique hotel features 208 newly renovated, vibrant and stylish guest rooms. 

The Deal:
  • Four Day Sale – Black Friday (Nov. 25) – Cyber Monday (Nov. 28)
  • Up to 35% off Best Available Rate, plus complimentary Wi-Fi, evening social wine hour, unlimited PressReader access, in-room yoga & wellness kit and bike rentals to explore San Francisco .
  • *Pre-pay, non-refundable; Bookable dates: November 25, 2016 – November 28, 2016

Fleming’s Steakhouse Giftcard Giveaway

Thanksgiving dinner

I’ve been a fan of Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar for years. It used to be my parent’s favorite special occasion restaurant. I always get a smile on my face when my husband says, “Let’s go to Fleming’s for dinner.”

I have some exciting news! Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar will be hosting Thanksgiving for the first time ever with a four-course menu, including traditional favorites like a mixed herb roasted turkey breast and more (only $39.95 per person). They are also offering a special menu for the kids. Take a look at the menu:

Amuse-Bouche

SOPPRESSATA & BRIE CHEESE BITES with apple jalapeño cinnamon chutney, roasted nuts and truffled deviled egg

First Course

FLEMING’S SALAD or LOBSTER BISQUE

Main Course

MIXED HERB ROASTED TURKEY BREAST WITH SAVORY TURKEY GRAVY

Sides

HOUSEMADE BRIOCHE STUFFING

FRESH CRANBERRY, ORANGE AND CINNAMON SAUCE

BUTTER-MASHED SWEET POTATOES

GREEN BEANS WITH BACON, ALMONDS AND ONION

Dessert: Choose between

PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE chantilly cream and caramel glaze

or

CARROT CAKE three layers, with cream cheese frosting and dark-rum caramel drizzle

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Wait there’s more… On Thanksgiving weekend (Friday-Saturday), Fleming’s will also offer all wine on the Fleming’s 100 wine list at $10 per glass. How awesome is that?

Thanksgiving Place Setting

With lots of turkey leftovers on-hand, Executive Chef Russell Skall with Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar has shared his recipe for Turkey Fried Rice, which take less than 30 minutes to prepare. In honor of Thanksgiving, I am hosting a giveaway for a chance to win a $100 dining card to enjoy at Fleming’s on Thanksgiving weekend. To enter, just a leave a comment telling us your favorite thing about Thanksgiving! One winner will be chosen on November 8th. Good luck! See below for Chef Russell’s recipe for Turkey Fried Rice. Happy early Thanksgiving 🙂

An Amazing Bermuda Discount Package at One of My Favorite Resorts

Hamilton Infinity pool harbor Bermuda

Who says summer is over? It’s definitely not in Alabama (where it will be a record 88 degrees today), but I had to share this amazing discount package at the Bermuda’s Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, the host hotel for the 2017 America’s Cup. They are offering the new “Endless Summer” package, saving guests 33% on a three-night stay. Travelers will receive every third night complimentary when a vacation coincides with a Friday or Saturday night. The package is available year-round with rates starting at $239 per night in a Deluxe Garden View room, excluding tax and service. I was there a few years ago, and it is the ultimate Bermuda hotel!

Hamilton Princess Hotel bermuda

Less than a two-hour flight from New York and less than 3 hours from Atlanta, Bermuda’s winter temperature hovers around a comforting 65 degrees. This season, go beyond the pink-sand beaches and explore the island’s diverse cultural and outdoor offerings. Added bonus? Thanks to Bermuda’s North Atlantic location, the destination remains Zika-free.

Where to Relax…Enjoy spa therapies and boutique fitness classes at the leading lifestyle and wellbeing brand exhale, a new addition to Hamilton Princess as part of their recent $100 million renovation.

Marcus' Cocktail Bermuda Hamilton Princess

Where to Eat…Experience the Sunday Brunch with live music at Marcus’, the island’s first and only celebrity-helmed restaurant, led by Marcus Samuelsson. Don’t miss Art Mels, known for their traditional Bermudian fish sandwiches and The Meltdown, where Black Rum & Ginger and Rum Swizzle ice cream flavors (inspired by Bermuda) are served. 

Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Where to Shop… Stroll through the neighboring boutiques of Hamilton including the TABS shop, offering authentic Bermuda shorts designed by a local Bermudian; and visit Isolated Surfboards, one of the few institutions that carves surfboards by hand.

What to See… Join the hotel’s art tour, which will bring guests up-close with more than 60 museum-quality pieces of art including works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, and Nelson Mandela. Visit St. Georges, a charming UNESCO World Heritage site dotted with colorful houses and early colonial architecture.

Looking for more… There’s golf, more than 22 miles of biking trails, kite-surfing and tennis.

Hamilton Beach club bermuda

More on Hamilton Princess & Beach Club

Known to Bermudians and world travelers as ”The Pink Palace,” Hamilton Princess & Beach Club opened its doors on January 1, 1885. Bermuda had gained international recognition two years earlier when Princess Louise, the fourth daughter of Queen Victoria, visited for a winter retreat and called it ”a place of eternal spring.” When the hotel opened, it was named ”The Princess” in honor of the royal visit. It is the oldest member of the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts family.

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The Ultimate Culinary Experience in Sicily in 2017

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My first trip to Sicily and my first villa experience were one in the same. After spending a few nights at Rocca delle Tre Contrade, I arrived at the conclusion that there is no better way to enjoy Sicily. Complete with 11 bedrooms and space for 22 guests, you’ll also find incredible views and a staff going the extra mile to provide the supreme comforts of home. This is just as an ideal spot to visit with family and friends as it is for an intimate destination wedding. The 360-degree panoramic views take your eyes from the sparkling Ionian Sea to the lava peak of Mount Etna.
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I just recently received exciting news from their exclusive luxury villa company The Thinking Traveller that Rocca delle Tre Contrade, has joined forces with acclaimed Chef Skye Gyngell for a two week-long culinary experiences exploring the gastronomic bounty and cuisine of the Mediterranean’s largest and most diverse island. This is truly a bucket list culinary experience!
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Skye Gyngell is one of the most respected chefs working in the UK. After working at a variety of high level restaurants, including La Varenne in Paris and The Dorchester in London, Skye became head chef at Petersham Nurseries, where the earned her Michelin star. In 2014, Skye opened Spring, in Somerset House, London. It quickly became regarded as one of the capital’s top restaurants.

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Below please find details for the course:

  • Six days immersed in a full food and wine program with Skye Gyngell, including cookery demo sessions and ‘hands on’ lessons with Skye Gyngell and her team
  • Seven hands-on sessions in the villa’s large demonstration kitchen (each work station shared by two participants)
  • Seven nights’ accommodation at the private luxury villa Rocca delle Tre Contrade in double rooms (single occupancy also available)
  • The presence of Jon Moslet, co-owner of Rocca delle Tre Contrade and expert in Sicilian wine and gastronomic traditions
  • A program of guided tours with English-speaking guide and related ground transportation
  • All meals including wine and beverages (7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners)
  • Transfers between Catania Fontanarossa Airport and Rocca delle Tre Contrade on the first and last days of the week
  • Complimentary in-house laundry service (dry-cleaning not included)
The course is available for two weeks this spring, the week of March 25 and also the week of April 22.
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About the villa:
Rocca delle Tre Contrade occupies a stunningly panoramic position atop its own hill on Sicily’s east coast. The views of this former aristocratic estate are further enhanced by the intense greens and citrus flashes of the villa’s grounds, which feature lemon groves, fruit orchards and vegetable gardens. The magnificence of Mother Nature is rivalled only by the spectacular 25-metre, south-facing infinity pool and the delightful interiors, which have been renovated and refurbished to exactingly high standards.
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